August 31, 2010 5:25 PM Subscribe
Fidel Castro takes blame for persecution of Cuban gays.
posted by VikingSword (117 comments total)
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'Fidel Castro has said that he is ultimately responsible for the persecution suffered by homosexuals in Cuba after the revolution of 1959.' 'The former Cuban president told La Jornada the persecution of gays, who were rounded up at the time as supposed counterrevolutionaries and placed in forced labor camps, was a "great injustice" that arose from the island's history of discrimination against homosexuals. He said he was not prejudiced against gays, but "if anyone is responsible (for the persecution), it's me." "I'm not going to place the blame on others,"
he said.' But 'there is a Castro who is fighting to introduce radical changes in Cuba.'
'Not the new president, Raul, although he has promised to push through "structural and conceptual" changes to this communist island in the Caribbean. It is Raul's daughter, Mariela Castro. As head of the government-funded National Centre for Sex Education, she is trying to change people's attitudes towards minority groups in the community. She is currently attempting to get the Cuban National Assembly to adopt what would be among the most liberal gay and transsexual rights law in Latin America. The proposed legislation would recognise same-sex unions, along with inheritance rights. It would also give transsexuals the right to free sex-change operations and allow them to switch the gender on their ID cards, with or without surgery. There are limits: adoption is not included in the bill and neither is the word marriage. "A lot of homosexual couples asked me to not risk delaying getting the law passed by insisting on the word marriage," Mariela Castro said.'
Fidel Castro 'said homosexuals had traditionally been discriminated in Cuba, just as black people and women.
But, nevertheless, he admits he didn't pay enough attention to what was going on against the gay community.
"At the time we were being sabotaged systematically, there were armed attacks against us, we had too many problems," said the 84-year-old Communist leader.
"Keeping one step ahead of the CIA, which was paying so many traitors, was not easy."
In 1979, homosexuality was decriminalised and, more recently, there have been efforts to legalise same-sex unions.'